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How Center Parcs uses Checkit to save 20,000 hours of staff time every year

Overview

Checkit is helping Center Parcs save over 20,000 hours of staff time every year while giving managers unprecedented control and visibility.

Center Parcs operates five holiday villages across the UK, each occupying roughly 400 acres of pristine woodland. Guests can enjoy a full range of indoor and outdoor activities, or just kick back by a heated pool before enjoying a spot of fine dining.

Behind the scenes, keeping the cogs of this enormous machine turning are people like Gavin Riley, Operations Programme Manager. Gavin and his teams are using Checkit’s intelligent operations management solution for critical food safety compliance procedures and temperature monitoring. This frees up valuable time boosting the efficiency of their daily tasks.

From a management perspective, Checkit’s smart dashboards are creating KPIs and visibility of trends and performance across the business in a way that would never have been possible with the old paper-based system.

As a result, performance can be tracked in real time so that managers can rapidly act on emerging problems.

The challenge

Manual checks take up staff time

Ensuring high standards across key customer touchpoints is a large-scale challenge for managers at Center Parcs.

On average, each Center Parcs site welcomes around 4,000 guests each week. Services are provided by 1,500 employees.

Food and beverages depend on around 125 fridges and freezers, which have to be checked on a regular basis to ensure safe storage conditions. 

Prior to the implementation of Checkit, staff were carrying out 2,500 temperature checks each week. 

Operations leaders were looking for a better way to maintain the highest quality and safety standards for their guests while reducing the amount of time employees had to spend performing manual checks.

“Checkit was chosen not only because it provides a single-vendor solution, from temperature monitoring to food safety, but it can also scale to our needs. This allows us scope to diversify into front-of-house and business intelligence reporting."

Gavin Riley Operations Programme Manager at Center Parcs
The Solution

A future-proof compliance platform

Center Parcs managers are serious about their responsibilities when it comes to looking after so many guests each week, making them a diligent, risk-averse organisation.

Consequently they put Checkit through its paces at their Whinfell Forest site with an extensive trialling and validation process designed to maintain their existing high standards of compliance and IT security.

"Checkit’s technology gave us the kinds of variables we needed to make sure it would work, given our high compliance standards," said Gavin Riley, Operations Programme Manager. "Our conversations with Checkit’s account managers and development teams meant we were confident it would prove to be a future-proof solution.”

With a green light from this analysis, they began a national roll-out for food safety and compliance recording. Whinfell Forest and Woburn Forest sites took the lead, phasing out their old process over several months before switching entirely to Checkit.

The intention is not just to replace paper, but to use the newly digitised data to set, measure, and refine KPIs across operations.

Metrics such as the length of time equipment is operating within specification and the proportion of tasks completed to schedule, are examples of new, valuable insights into operational performance.

The Outcome

Real-time data drives improved productivity and confidence

“Each unit has saved an hours labour each day" said Gavin Riley, operations programme manager. "That might not sound much, but when you talk about the UK business operation it represents over than 20,000 hours per year. We can now reinvest saved time back on the business, improving controls and training people.”

With the system proven and the rollout across all sites in progress, focus shifted to widening the scope of the Checkit deployment, bringing in other applications for the technology.

By the summer of 2019, Center Parcs had a total of 800 active sensors across the business.

Automated time tracking, stock management, and user-based accountability, all paperless, promise similar time savings, creating a smoother experience. The team is optimistic that the same efficiencies can be applied to front-of-house compliance.

Checkit allows Gavin and his teams to set their own parameters and realise their own vision of  success.

 

The compliance standards set internally by Center Parcs are much higher than those for the wider industry, so the initial focus was on getting high quality data and exchanging feedback with frontline staff.

Wall-mounted tablets linked to the monitoring network allow staff to accurately track metrics such as food temperatures in real time to make sure they don’t fluctuate beyond the acceptable range.

Already, Center Parcs has seen big improvements in three key areas:

  • Improved productivity
  • Greater confidence in data
  • Easier access to data

These benefits have combined with a reduction in staff time time performing and supervising basic repetitive tasks, translating into an overall boost in productivity

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